Following Twitter’s announcement about providing paid verification for users, Instagram may also be joining the league. The addition of a new feature for Instagram influencers was referenced in an Instagram code. A developer has recently discovered a cryptic Instagram code that hints towards new changes in Instagram’s subscription product policy. The discovered snippet exclusively referred to the “paid blue badge” in the code, which stands for account verification on Instagram. A similar reference also appears for the Facebook app account, which leads to speculation that the paid verification feature will be expanded across Meta services.
Whenever such a discovery is made on Twitter, Instagram typically confirms it through statements. However, in this case, Instagram has yet to make an official statement.
An Italian-based developer Alessandro Paluzzi, in his tweet, revealed that Instagram may be working on providing paid verification option to its users. On February 2, Paluzzi stated on Twitter “#instagram is working on a subscription plan which includes the blue badge”. However, in the reply to the same tweet, Paluzzi also clarified that the said claim is just a rumor until there is substantial proof. He added, “At the moment there are only a few small references in the code about this, nothing visible so, until I post a screenshot that can confirm my assumption, consider it a mere rumor.”
However, Alessandro Paluzzi is a known name in making predictions for various brand reveals, he previously successfully spotted various other Instagram features before they were publicly announced. Paluzzi had previously spotted the QR code sharing feature and Instagram’s Candid Challenges in his previous tweets. Therefore, the credibility of the claims that Instagram may launch paid verification plans is high.
In an exclusive correspondence with a tech website, Paluzzi shared screenshots of the codes he discovered. The codes in question are IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV and FB_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV. Paluzzi suggests that IDV could refer to “identity verification,” which is also a commonly used abbreviation for the term. Paluzzi also claimed that similar codes were also shared about Facebook applications, which raises the question of whether these changes will be introduced to all Meta services or will only be limited to Instagram.
Since the current Instagram verification system has long been the subject of complaints and controversy, many have seen this news as a positive and convenient change in the social media app’s policies. Currently, the Instagram verification system relies on automation, which makes the process random, complicated, and obtuse. Many influencers have long been complaining about the verification process on the platform. The discovery of the possibility of Instagram paid verification has sparked renewed interest among users.
Considering the demands of small creators and influencers in 2018, Instagram allowed users to request verification on the platform; however, the process of getting the blue mark remained tedious. Following this, in 2020, Instagram head Adam Mosseri vowed to keep making verification a focus of improvement. Currently, Instagram typically provides Instagram verification to celebrities, global brands, and high-end content creators. Since verification provides legitimacy to an account, even small creators and businesses sought an Instagram verification badge.
In 2022, ProPublica, in its investigation, revealed one of the largest Instagram verification schemes. The publication of the report caused Instagram’s parent company, Meta, to intervene and discontinue hundreds of falsely obtained verification badges on the various platforms.
After taking over Twitter, Elon Musk also realized the demand for paid verification on the platform and quickly went on board with it. However, poor planning and execution of the subscription plan caused hundreds of fake celebrity profiles to pop up with verified accounts. Ultimately, Twitter had to pause the paid verification plan and relaunch it with a new gold verification badge for businesses and add a few new steps for verification.
Along with Twitter, social media giant Snapchat launched Snapchat+, a subscription-based plan that provides users with additional perks and features. Snapchat has seen quite a remarkable success with the plan, as it garnered over 2 million users in just half a year.
Since Instagram’s paid verification has been a popular user demand, it is not a surprise that the company must be planning on expanding the verification option on the platform. However, the extent of the plan is yet to be revealed, and we will only have to wait until announcements are made from the official channels of the social media platform.